Target Cells (Codocytes)
- Have the appearance of a target with a bullseye
- Such cells are thin and have a disproportional increase in the surface membrane area to volume ratio. This increased ration may result from an increase in membrane surface area or a decrease in hemoglobin content.
- Morphologically, target cells have a central, hemoglobinized area surrounded by an area of pallor. The periphery of the cell contains a band of hemoglobin
- In mammals, target cells are usually an artifact of drying, however, the presence of excessive target cells within mammalian blood smears may indicate chronic disease including liver disease or iron deficiency, or following a splenectomy